Apr 23, 2013, 4:06 AM EDT
Ian Desmond reacts after striking out with two on to end the eighth inning.
Want a quick synopsis of the state of the Nationals’ lineup 19 games into the season? Adam LaRoche has the condensed version.
“We’re not getting the big hits,” the veteran first baseman said. “A lot of quick innings. Not a ton of baserunners. And five or six guys that aren’t swinging the bat real good. When it rains, it pours.”
The rain may not be at cats-and-dogs stages right now, but it’s coming down at a steady rate, resulting in more than a few frustrating losses like Monday’s 3-2 defeat at the hands of the Cardinals.
Despite getting the closest thing Dan Haren has offered up to a quality start this season and some sparkling work out of their bullpen, the Nationals couldn’t exorcise their St. Louis demons from last October because they couldn’t produce a clutch hit late despite several opportunities.
Thus, a Nationals club that three weeks ago was everyone’s prohibitive favorite to reach the World Series fell to 10-9. Yes, they’re still over .500, but there’s something unsettling about the way they’ve played to date, especially at the plate.
NL EAST STANDINGS
x-Clinched division title
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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